“I would have gladly kissed the soles of his feet for the salvation of Israel.” (says Mordechai of Haman, Esther 4:6, Chapter C).
Alone in my prayer closet, under-caffeinated and overly anxious, I spilled my guts on the floor in desperation for God to clean up the mess. Nothing was particularly wrong, except that I was coming back from a two-week stay-cation and just not ready to go back to my day job. I missed the flow of sleeping in late (6:00 am), more time to read my bible, ample time to pray, and lots and lots of time for reflection and writing. I didn’t want to face the reality of 5 am or my demanding career or working lunches. I wanted to be with Jesus, I wanted to just be.
I don’t think I’m much different from most people, hurried away in their busyness, yearning to somehow make the way to freedom. Before I knew who Jesus was, my career defined me, it was who I was and was interwoven in my story. I seemed to cling to things or people, event to event, never satiated by the next thing or the next. I thought of the freedom that came in Christ’s name, the life He has freed me from since that time. I tend to want to skip the hard parts, the rough parts of the journey, the ones that force us to face ourselves. And today was one of the those days. I was begging God to stay, in that space, in that place, even though He was in the midst of teaching me.
In my delusional sleepiness I somehow felt free. He told me to abandon myself to Him today. I opened my arms wide and gave myself away. And He gave me the scripture from the book of Esther, I would do anything you asked of me Lord, anything. And I felt such freedom in that.
I was too tired to cling to the closet and too responsible not to show up for work. The word “abandonment” followed me to work like a clingy friend, echoing and flowing through me. I kept seeing my hands thrown up wide in the air, and somehow, someway, the day seemed to open up.
The workload which should have appeared voluminous and overwhelming became a mere list of one task at a time. I stayed in the day, moment to moment for the first time in my life. I felt a cleanliness and an overwhelming sense of minute to minute accomplishment. My work is not world-changing or life-changing or game-changing but it certainly is me -changing. I let myself have a break. I breathed. I got back to work and finished out the day. I didn’t worry about tomorrow. I was still in a state of abandonment. I was still free.
I knew then that God was not done with me. He was not done with me at this job or as a working mother or in any other aspect of my life. I realized that there was no way I could have freed myself today. I realized that he used my exhaustion and surrender to my benefit, to give me the gift of abandonment.
We have to oftentimes get past the concepts of work and home and school- the things right in front of our faces. We have to go so far past that to enter into his territory. It is the movement of going from the surface to the land underneath, from the shore to the sea. Giving up to God is the only realm where you will win. You will win every time.
Enjoy the music and abandon yourself in His presence, Listen…